The country’s economy is still largely dependent on government-driven projects. Based on 2017 data, the estimate of public procurement activity is valued at around 19 percent of the GDP. The Permanent Secretary for Economy at the Ministry of Finance and Economy said the data deserves attention as it has implications on not only to a well-functioning government which can efficiently use resources, but also to the efficiency of the sectors involved in the supply chain from inputs, to outcomes. All these activities have implications to a well-functioning economy. Doctor Dayang Hajah May Fa’ezah binti Haji Ahmad Ariffin stated the matter at the Advocacy Session on Public Procurement and Bid Rigging.

According to Doktor Dayang Hajah May Fa’ezah, bidding or also widely called tendering, is an important process in public procurement which aims to ensure good value for money, efficient use of government resources and prudent government spending. Unfortunately, competition process cannot be assumed comes naturally. She added, it is important to be aware, learn to detect and prevent rigging in a tender or collusive bidding, which may result in inflated prices as well as goods and services with lower quality. When bid-rigging impacts public procurement, it may cause great harm to the government expenditure.

Doctor Hassan Qaqaya, competition expert and former head of the Competition and Consumer Policies Branch at the United Nations Conference in Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne in the session among others recommended transparency to enhance efficiency in the public procurement process and the need for capacity building and training for government officials involved in the procurement of goods and services with good value for money and maintain prudent spending. The session was organised by the Department of Economic Planning and Development, Ministry of Finance and Economy through the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs. Also present was Dato Paduka Awang Haji Eddie bin Dato Paduka Haji Sunny, the Chairman of Competition Commission of Brunei Darussalam.

Source: Radio Television Brunei